UCL draw: Lionel Messi, PSG to face Man City in group stage; Bayern vs. Barcelona

Manchester City have been drawn against Paris Saint-Germain in group stages of the 2021-22 Champions League, setting up a possible showdown between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sources have told ESPN that Man City are closing in on a deal for Ronaldo, while Messi will be embarking on his first Champions League campaign away from Barcelona after joining PSG earlier this month.

Man City beat PSG 4-1 on aggregate to reach last season’s final, which they lost 1-0 to Chelsea at the Estadio do Dragao in Portugal. RB Leipzig and Club Brugge were also drawn in Group A.

Meanwhile, Barcelona will face Bayern Munich in Group E. It will be their first meeting since Bayern smashed Barca 8-2 in the semifinals in August 2020.

Holders Chelsea will play Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg and Malmo in Group H, which will see striker Romelu Lukaku make an early return to Italy having made a summer switch to Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United were drawn against Villarreal in Group F in a rematch of last season’s Europa League final, which Unai Emery’s side won on penalties.

Liverpool will return to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium to face Atletico Madrid in Group B, the site where the English side won the Champions League in 2019. Atletico knocked Liverpool out in the round of 16 the following season.

AC Milan, the second-most successful team in the history of the competition with seven wins, will also play in Group B as they make their return to the Champions League for the first time since 2014.

This season’s final will take place at the Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 28.

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho won the best male player of the year award ahead of teammate N’Golo Kante and Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne. Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas beat out teammates Jennifer Hermoso and Lieke Martens to win the women’s award.

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